European Shares to Open Lower; Ireland Still in Focus

European shares were set to open lower on Tuesday as fears Dublin could seek money for its stricken banks from an EU emergency fund linger among investors.

Trader at London Stock Exchange, England.
Trader at London Stock Exchange, England.

Dublin has said it will not need a bailout from the European Union or the International Monetary Fund, but rumours it would need emergency funding nevertheless persisted on Monday.

Finance ministers from euro zone states hold monthly talks on Tuesday and are expected to discuss the matter. Ministers from other EU states join them on Wednesday.

Ireland’s debt problems have shaken confidence in the euro zone and pressured the euro.

Analysts expect the single currency to continue to lose some of its strength over the short term, but if Ireland asks for bailout funding and establishes a clear mechanism of how it will work, some nerves in the markets will be settled.

Infineon reported a fourth-quarter profit of 390 million euros ($529.2 milion) on revenue of 942 million euros.

On the macroeconomic front, investors will be keeping an eye out for euro zone inflation figures. UK inflation figures will also be released on Tuesday.

Sales at US retailers rose more than expected in October to post their largest gain in seven monthson Monday, providing further evidence the US economy is regaining strength.